OXNARD, Calif. – Struggling in the first half, the Women’s Eagles needed an electric second half to pull out a win against France. The Eagles did just that to outdistance the French 13-10.
Sarah Chobot scored the lone try for the Women’s Eagles, while the boot of Sadie Anderson helped in sealing the game. Anderson converted on the try and slotted two penalty kicks in the contest.
“The second half was a really good performance for us and some great rugby,” said Head Coach Pete Steinberg. “The first half was disappointing, but we were able to adjust our game and play at the pace we knew we could play.”
Pushing the pace of the game in the second half proved to be the difference maker for the Eagles as France saw very little of the attacking half during the concluding 40 minutes.
“As a result of our faster play, we were able to have a number of scoring opportunities and held territory for most of the half,” said Steinberg.
With the win, the Women’s Eagles claim the first victory over France in the three-match series. The victory is also the first ever win against France.
The first half proved difficult for the Eagles, particularly in the set pieces. France was able to capitalize on the Eagles’ miscues, stifling any momentum for the home side.
However, the second half proved to be vastly different for both sides. For the Eagles, the focus in lineouts and scrums aided the second-half boost.
“The momentum changed because we consistently got better as the game went along,” said captain Shaina Turley, referring to the set pieces. “We had confidence in our game plan and the execution got better through the course of play.”
A deep opening kickoff pinned the Eagles deep in their own territory, affording France the first opportunities of the game. Despite numerous attempts to clear the ball to midfield, the Eagles could not find space behind the defense to alleviate the pressure from France.
Jessy Tremouliere was making the most of the territory through line breaks and a penalty kick attempt. The kick at goal was missed, but the breaks were too much for the Eagles defense.
Ten minutes into the game, Tremouliere dotted down for a try. The fullback could not convert on her kick, keeping the score with France ahead at 5-0.
Sadie Anderson returned the favor on the ensuing kickoff by pinning France deep into its own territory.
Despite a lineout maul from France taking the ball out of immediate striking distance for the Eagles, regained momentum and a penalty from 30 meters out gave the them their first opportunity.
From there the physical match rolled on.
With France kicking for territory and then grinding possession down to the try-line, the Blues had their next opportunity of the match.
Hooker Juanno Sainlo scored from the ensuing five-meter lineout maul. Sandrine Agricole, unable to convert on the kick, left the score at 10-0 in favor of France.
Minutes later, a penalty kick from Anderson, 25-meters out, drew the game closer at 10-3.
It seemed as if the momentum had changed in the Eagles’ favor with another penalty attempt on the following series.
Although Anderson did not connect on her second attempt at goal, the fullback stayed true on the next one from 15 meters out. Directly in front of the posts, the France lead dwindled as the score became 10-6.
In the second half, the Women’s Eagles picked up the pace of play to immediately put the Blues under pressure.
As a result of the pressure and recurring infractions, Sainlo was binned for not rolling away.
With a player advantage, the Eagles seized the opportunity and the game. Chobot dove across the goal line for the game winning score. Anderson converted the try to make the score 13-10.
France and the Eagles will meet again Tuesday, June 11, for the second match in the three-test series.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 P.M. PT. Oxnard College Soccer Facility will again host the contest.
Women's Eagles | vs. France
1. Sarah Chobot (Reddick @ 67)
2. Kittery Wagner (Augustyn @ 69)
3. Jamie Burke (Davis @ 74)
4. Sarah Walsh (Zdanczewicz @ 71)
5. Molly Kinsella (Daley @ 60)
6. Stacey Bridges
7. Lynelle Kugler
8. Shaina Turley (C)
9. Jossy Tseng
10. Hannah Stolba
11. Ryan Carlyle
12. Megan Bonny
13. Meya Bizer (Peterson @ 40)
14. Erica Cavanaugh (Street @ 76)
15. Sadie Anderson
1. Lise Arricastre (Ezanno @ 40)
2. Juanno Sainlo (sin @ 52, Mignot @ 62)
3. Chobet Christelle (Portaries @ 57)
4. Robia Souder
5. Corson Lenaig (Koita @ 72)
6. Diallo Caccombo (Grand @ 72)
7. Marion Andre
8. Sophie Pin
9. Marie-Alice Yahe (Revolaen @ 64)
10. Sandrine Agricole
11. Celine Heguy
12. Lucille Godiveal
13. Sandra Metier
14. Clemence Rousseau (Fourcade @ 56)
15. Jessy Tremouliere
16. Gaelle Mignot
17. Helene Ezanno
18. Elodie Portaries
19. Asso Koita
20. Laetitia Grand
21. Yanna Revolaen
22. Lanelin Fourcade
23. Aurelie Balon
Penalties: Anderson (2)
Tries: Tremouliere, Sainlo